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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
Nepal receives India military aid
By Bhagirath Yogi
BBC News, Kathmandu

Mine protection vehicle in Nepal
The shipment was reported to be of non-lethal equipment
India has sent its first shipment of military equipment to Nepal in five months, following King Gyanendra's takeover of direct power in February.

India and a number of other countries had suspended military supplies in protest at the king's takeover.

A spokesman at the Indian embassy in Kathmandu confirmed that non-lethal arms had been delivered.

Indian media reported that the shipment included jeeps, bullet-proof jackets and mine-proof vehicles.

Democracy call

King Gyanendra said his coup was necessary as many politicians were corrupt and had failed to tackle the nation's Maoist rebels.

His critics say the rebel insurgency has worsened in the past five months.

Nepalese authorities were tight-lipped over the resumption of Indian military supplies.

Sanjay Verma, the spokesman at the Indian embassy, said the supply was in line with an earlier decision by the Indian government to lift the suspension.

India is the biggest supplier of arms and ammunition to Nepal.

The US and Britain were other notable countries to apply a suspension.

US officials recently said they had resumed supply of non-lethal military aid and that they were providing training to Nepal's military personnel. But Washington has suspended a consignment of M16 rifles.

The US, Britain and India have asked King Gyanendra to restore civil liberties and return towards multi-party democracy as soon as possible.


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